The sanctuary located on the hill of Bitalemi, in Gela, is among the best-known sites of Demetriac worship in Greek Sicily, also thanks to an accurate identification of the goddess worshipped here (Demetra Thesmophoros), as mentioned in some graffiti; the value and the peculiarity of the findings, only published in a preliminary way, contributed to the fame of the sacred area.
The volume presents the long-awaited systematic publication of the excavations conducted by Piero Orlandini in the campaigns of 1963, 1964 and 1967. The study of the structures and the materials just concerns the first phase of attendance of the sanctuary (the so-called stratum 5), which began in the second half of the 7th century BC and was sealed by a casting of clay around 550 BC. The volume focuses on the site’s historical-religious aspect in the light of the exceptional circumstances in which the votive offerings were found: almost all of them were primary deposits, protected by a layer of sand which allowed them to be preserved in good conditions.
The finds are therefore concisely presented, including almost 3000 deposits found in situ and the fragmentary objects, which are catalogued in a separate list. The catalogue is followed by a rapid class-by-class commentary, which provides a useful framework of the ritual objects brought to light; these mostly consist in imported or locally made pottery, but metallic objects, terracotta figurines and loom weights are also presented. After suggesting some hypothesis on the sanctuary’s activity in this first attendance period and on the number of offerings, an extensive discussion on the ritual practice is proposed, relying on the archaeological data and the worship practice. Some interesting information on the reconstruction of Thesmophoric feasts can be gained from the comparison of the findings and their deposition with the epigraphic evidence.
The complete publication of the excavation journal from the 1960s can be found in the appendix, according to the excavator’s indications.
This volume reports the findings of a legacy archaeology project, the largest ever undertaken in southwest Afghanistan. For the decade of the 1970s, the joint US-Afghan Helmand Sistan Project conducted extensive survey and excavation in the lower Helmand Valley and adjacent areas, documenting 200 archaeological sites in the region from the Bronze Age to the present. Four decades of warfare since that time have made further work in this region almost impossible. The Helmand River valley was one of the main routes between Mesopotamia, Iran, India, and Central Asia. Mythical and historical figures from Alexander of Macedon to Zoroaster and from Rustam to Tamerlane passed through and left their marks.
This book provides the first archaeology-based cultural history of the region, fleshing out and often challenging what we know from historical documents. Among key findings of the project were the tracing of extensive canal systems through the desert, the discovery of a previously unknown early Iron Age occupation and of the westernmost Buddhist shrine from the early expansion of the religion, and archaeological evidence of the otherwise unstudied local Islamic dynasty, the Saffarids, who controlled much of the Middle East and Central Asia from Sistan in 9th and 10th centuries CE. While Volume 1 provides a description of each site studies, a second volume in development addresses the environmental and geological context, reports on the material culture finds including inscriptions, coins, and ceramics, and summarizes the importance of these finds for the study of the Afghan past.
Tell Afis is located at the southern edge of the Jazr plain in the Idlib region of northern Syria. The site, measuring 570m x 500m, consists of a very large lower city with an acropolis on its northern edge. After initial excavation in the 1970s, fieldwork resumed in 1986 under a mission jointly directed by Stefania Mazzoni and Serena Maria Cecchini.
This volume concerns the excavation of area N, the eastern part of the acropolis. The first chapter describes these field investigations from 2001 until 2007. A detailed analysis of the occupation of the area during the Bronze Age follows. The Middle Bronze Age fortifications are discussed (Chapter II - phase XIf-a), followed by the Middle Bronze to Late Bronze Age transition (Chapter III - phase X) and Late Bronze Age occupation, including various architectural phases dating mainly to Late Bronze II (Chapter IV- phase IX-VIIb), the transition between Late Bronze and Iron Age I (Chapter IV - phase VIIa). Chapter V is entirely dedicated to the occupation sequence of the Iron Age I period of which six major phases with related sub-phases were identified (phases VI-I). Chapter VI compares the ceramic sequences between areas N and E, located in the western part of the acropolis. The final chapter (Chapter VII) places the excavation results in a historical context and re-analyses site B, located in the northern sector of the lower city. The volume concludes with an appendix giving a detailed analysis of the faunal remains of Area N by Barbara Wilkens, in addition to an itemized abstract in Arabic.
Each chapter includes an examination of the stratigraphic and architectural data, and the objects found in each context. This is followed by a detailed section examining the pottery from each phase. Extensive illustrations (comprising phased plans, sections, photographs and ceramic tables, accompanied by additional tables and graphs) supplement the text.
From 1984 to 1999, the French archaeological mission of Kition, under the supervision of M. Yon, conducted extensive excavations to the north of the Bamboula sanctuary. These excavations revealed the remains of shipsheds of the Classical period, among the best preserved in the Mediterranean, which opened to the north on a closed harbour basin. This book offers a detailed and cross-cutting study of this outstanding discovery: the building is contextualized in its paleo-environment (both at the local and regional levels), the chronology of its different phases is established, its architecture is carefully described and restored for the missing parts (superstructure). Finally, we assess the importance of this military harbour for the history of Kition, Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, at the time of the Classical kingdom (4th century BC) and at the beginning of the Hellenistic period. The volume is completed by a study of the ceramics from the Roman period discovered in the filling of the basin.
The archives of the excavation are available on the open access web-portal chypre.mom.fr.
This is the final report on the excavations of the lower town at Tilmen Höyük, a capital city of the Middle Bronze Age located at the fringes of the North Syrian Plains (Gaziantep province, South-Eastern Turkey). The publication covers the results of the excavations undertaken between 2003 and 2008 by the joint Turco-Italian team directed by N. Marchetti, and includes a detailed analysis of topography, stratigraphy, architecture, ceramics and finds. The site of Tilmen Höyük lies in the Islahiye valley, which connects the lower Orontes valley to the central Taurus southern piedmont. The region belongs to the Inner Syria cultural contexts, and held a highly strategic significance, over the course of time, for the connections between Upper Mesopotamian and Levantine lowlands on the one hand the Anatolian highlands on the other. Settled since the LC period, the city attained its major flourishing during MBA 2, when it is probably to be identified with ancient Zalbar/Zalwar. Key evidence suggest that the site hosted a Babylonian trading station, which was part of a network parallel to that of Assur running from the Middle Euphrates to Cilicia. With its massively enclosed lower town and fortified acropolis, the ‘Cyclopean’ basalt blocks architecture, Tilmen Höyük is one of the most monumental cities of the area in this period.
*Please note that this publication was featured in our December 2022 Newsletter with an erroneous description. The following information is accurate*
The excavations on the Koukounaries Hill, Paros, Greece, conducted under the direction of Demetrius U. Schilardi for the Archaeological Society at Athens from 1976 to 1992, revealed a 12th century B.C.E. Mycenaean building, an Iron Age settlement, and an Archaic sanctuary. Koukounaries I: Mycenaean Pottery from Selected Contexts presents the pottery from five areas inside the building: three large storerooms, the main east-west corridor, and a small shrine, as well as the pottery from a limited reoccupation after the building’s fire destruction and abandonment. The ceramics from the main occupation phase comprise the largest and best-preserved domestic assemblage from the 12th century B.C.E. in the Cyclades and offer important evidence for the continuation of Mycenaean culture after the destruction of the mainland palatial citadels. The small deposits of pottery from the reoccupation phase, provide important stratigraphic evidence for defining the Late Helladic IIIC ceramic sequence. The volume also considers the function of the individual spaces within the building, based largely on the patterns of shape distributions and quantities, with the statistics for each context presented in a series of appendices. Other issues are also explored, including the evidence for itinerant potters, the trade in antique vases, and the place of origin of the settlers who founded and inhabited the Mycenaean building on the summit of the Koukounaries Hill.
Six seasons of excavations (1968-90) at the southern Mesopotamian site of al-Hiba, the ancient city of Lagash, retrieved one of the largest datasets of pottery spanning the entire third and early second millennium BCE.
Between 1968 and 1990, Donald P. Hansen and Vaughn E. Crawford directed six seasons of excavations at al-Hiba, the ancient Sumerian city-state Lagash. Overseen by Edward L. Ochsenschlager, the team documented one of the largest ceramic datasets from a southern Mesopotamian site spanning the entire third and the early second millennium BCE. With the availability of digital tools and relational database technology, the Al-Hiba Publication Project, led by Holly Pittmanat the Penn Museum, has now analyzed these results in this publication by Steve Renette. As a case-study in the difficulties of working with legacy data, the publication project also assesses how the original recording methodology structures and limits the interpretation of these datasets. This first volume of the Lagash publications presents the ceramic corpus organized in a chrono-typology that traces the development of the pottery tradition through the Early Dynastic, Akkadian, Ur III, and Isin-Larsa periods. Often confirming well-established trends in general Mesopotamian ceramic development, this dataset from the south-eastern part of the Mesopotamian alluvium also introduces an underappreciated degree of regional variation.
This is the report on the excavation of the secondary pits associated with the tomb of Marquis Yi, ruler of the state of Zeng, who died in 433 BCE. The tomb is located at Suizhou in Hubei province, China. Excavated in 1978, it is the richest tomb known from the entire pre-imperial period and one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in China. The tomb contained ten metric tons of bronze artifacts—ritual vessels and, along with them, a tuned set of 65 bells weighing 2,500 kg and bearing inscriptions about music theory. The bell inscriptions constitute the earliest text on music theory known from China; they are hugely important for the light they shed on the rather different music theory of later periods in Chinese history and also for comparison with roughly contemporary texts from Greece. An archaeological report on Marquis Yi’s tomb was published in 1989, and most of the tomb’s furnishings are permanently displayed at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan. Temporary exhibitions of selected items have traveled to museums in many countries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
In January of 1999, a row of five secondary pits was discovered 15 meters east of Marquis Yi’s tomb. The pits were excavated by Zhang Changping, the director of this publication project, who was a researcher at the Hubei Provincial Institute of Archaeology at the time. Pit No. 1 contained 465 bronze objects or object fragments of forms not previously known. Their patterned disposition in the pit suggests that they all belonged to a single structure. Our guess is that they are structural parts of a canopy, bronze fittings of wooden parts that have disintegrated. Some of them evidently were made so that they could be fitted together, dismantled for storage, and reassembled at need. As for the other four pits, they contained orderly rows of pottery urns, jars, pots, plates, lids, and so forth, many of which were found sealed with locking mechanisms and had held food. These perhaps were funerary offerings for the marquis’ consumption in the afterlife.
This first volume of the study is particularly devoted to the temple of god ʿAthtar dhu-Qabḍ (Temple B), dated to the second half of the 1st millennium BCE. Six chapters fully illustrate its excavation, architecture, restoration, findings, inscriptions, and dating. The contribution of this work and monument to regional history transcends its local significance. The report is framed by ten chapters detailing the historiography of research on Barāqish, the initial surveys carried out in 1986-1987, the architecture and restoration of Temple A together with the extramural excavation at the adjacent curtain wall, the cultic equipment, and radiocarbon datings.
The core of the second volume of the study is a final report on Area C, an exploratory
dissection through the western edge of the Barāqish mound outside the curtain wall, and
a unique operation for Yemen until now. Eight chapters detail the excavation, stratigraphy,
and geoarchaeology (from about 800 BCE to the present), in addition to radiocarbon
chronology, cultural finds, animal and plant remains, economy, major historical events, and
unique evidence for trade. Four further chapters offer a glimpse of settlement archaeology
for Sabaean Yathill and the survey of a religious centre to the west, together with a first
typology of Minaean pottery and an epigraphic and political-historical overview for Barāqish
and the Jawf. The contributors, Sabina Antoniniand Francesco G. Fedele, are recognized experts in South Arabian archaeology.
Following BATSH 2 (2005) on the Post-Assyrian to Roman period, the three-part volume BATSH 12 on the Middle and Neo-Assyrian period (c. 1300–550 BC), also edited by Hartmut Kühne, concludes the publication of the excavation at the citadel mound of Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad between 1978 and 1988. Part 1 (text) comprises 17 chapters. A thorough documentation of the topography of Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad at the dawn of the excavation in 1978 is followed in four chapters (2-5) by description and interpretation of the stratigraphy, architecture, cuneiform archive, and graves of the Middle Assyrian levels. Chapters 14 and 15 cover the Neo-Assyrian evidence in a similar way. Both can be checked against the field record summarized in chapter 18 (part 2) and ultimately against the field diaries published online. Selected Middle Assyrian objects groups are analyzed in chapters 6 to 10 (clay sealing devices, scarab impressions, early iron, glass, and ceramics). Aspects of Middle Assyrian administration and the etymology of Duara are treated in chapters 11 and 13. Chapter 16 evaluates the fragments of a Neo-Assyrian sculptured orthostat. The urban and socio-economic-environmental development and the historical role and significance of Dūr-Katlimmu in both periods are debated in chapters 12 and 17 respectively. Besides chapter 18 part 2 covers the catalogues of the scarab impressions (19), the grave goods (21) and the remaining objects of the Middle (20) and Neo-Assyrian (22) periods. Each chapter is preceded by English abstracts/summaries on which the Arabic part is based. In addition, the publication is supplemented by a cassette with 57 colour plates and folding plans in part 3. In collaboration with: H. Kühne, P. Pfälzner, J. Rohde, S. Kulemann-Ossen/G. Preuss, H. Dohmann, S. Seidlmayer, K. Tantrakarn/T. Kikugawa/Y. Abe/I. Nakai, E. Cancik-Kirschbaum, C. Hess, J. Bussiliat/K. Gnybek/A. Kaeselitz/H. Kühne/J. Rohde.
The publication project was directed by Dr. Hartmut Kühne For ordering information, please visit the publisher's website HERE
The emergence of ancient urbanism has long held the interest of archaeologists attempting to understand the origins of inequality and its links to early urban life. This volume presents the results of archeological research at the Early Bronze Age sites of Numayra and Ras an-Numayra, conducted to investigate the rise of Early Bronze Age urban society, with a distinctive focus on links between environmental and social systems.
The Dead Sea Plain excavations at Numayra and Ras an-Numayra uncovered extraordinarily well-preserved architecture, artifacts, and faunal and paleoethnobotanical remains that offer exciting and profound insights that enhance our understanding of life in these walled settlements. Under the codirection of R. Thomas Schaub and Walter E. Rast, the Expedition to the Dead Sea Plain team designed their research with an explicitly anthropological focus, based on the New Archaeology’s principles for archaeological knowledge production. Their excavations at these sites in the mid-1970s and early 1980s heralded the now-common approach combining archaeology, paleoethnobotany, palynology, bioarchaeology, zooarchaeology, geology, and ethnoarchaeology into the research project, with a multidisciplinary team in the field to systematize collection and sampling procedures.
These excavations at Numayra and Ras an-Numayra represent a watershed moment in the history of archaeological research in the southern Levant, setting new standards for scientific methods and a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the past.
The publication project was directed by Meredith Chesson, R. Thomas Schaub, and Walter Rast.
In view of the 200th anniversary of Heinrich Schliemann's birthday one could well ask: »Why is Troy so important for archaeology?« Apart from the fact that Troy is mentioned in the earliest literary tradition in Europe it is also an important site that was more or less continuously inhabited for almost four millennia, which naturally made it a reference site for Bronze Age chronology of the Aegean area, western Anatolia, the Balkans and beyond. This second volume in the series of four planned so far on the Bronze Age remains of Troy presents results of the new excavations and investigations directed by Manfred Korfmann and Ernst Pernickabetween 1987 and 2012 and provides much new evidence on the development of Troy in the second millennium BCE. It describes in great detail its ups and downs during this period, targeting especially its heydays in the second half of the millennium. With the results of the more recent excavations in western Anatolia at hand, Troy is no longer seen as a unique phenomenon but rather as one of several major fortified settlements in this area. It was certainly the largest and dominant site in the Troad and may have drawn its prosperity from the fertile agricultural land in its surrounding and from flourishing local industries. Nevertheless, the material culture shows wide-ranging contacts and demonstrates that Troy was an important participant in the exchange networks ranging from the eastern Mediterranean to the northern Aegean and probably also the Balkans.
Part 1 begins with a discussion of chronology and periodisation by Peter Pavúk complemented with a detailed contribution by Ralf Becks on stratigraphy, individual buildings and other features of Troy VI and VIIa and by Manfred Klinkott on the construction of the fortifications. The pottery is presented by Peter Pavúk on Troy VI Early and Middle and Wendy Rigter on the following periods VI Late and VIIa. Special chapters are devoted to the first systematic assessment of pithoi and other storage containers, as well as storage strategies at Troy by Diane Thumm-Doğrayan, an analysis of Cypriot finds by Ekin Kozal, and Penelope Mountjoy presents the summary of her long-term studies on Mycenaean pottery. Part 2 is dedicated to the small finds consisting of metal, glass/faience, clay and stone by Magda Pieniążek with contributions of several co-authors. The concluding chapter by Peter Pavúk and Magda Pieniążek summarizes the most significant results of the recent excavations and discusses them from regional and interregional perspectives.
with a contribution by Hedvig Landenius Enegrenand and Ina Vanden Berghe
This volume, of 545 pages, is the full publication of 47 Early and Middle Bronze Age tombs excavated at Lapithos on the north coast of Cyprus in 1913 by L.H.D. Buxton of Oxford University under the aegis of John Myres. Prior to the project of which it is the result, it had long been assumed that no archival record existed. On the contrary, the field notebook was located and proved remarkably useful in reconstructing tomb plans and in situ assemblages. Lapithos was one of few coastal settlements on Cyprus in the prehistoric Bronze Age. It was a major consumer of metal and probably also both a production centre and a participant in the international trade networks of the Eastern Mediterranean in the early second millennium BC. Chemical analyses of over 400 artefacts suggest that it was importing tin bronze in significant quantity, along with finished metal objects and ornaments of faience, lead, silver and gold.
The volume is the second of two by the same author on tombs excavated at Lapithos in the early 20th century. It presents the full documentation of 47 tombs and over 1000 objects, with plans, drawings and colour photographs throughout. It includes an account of the history of the excavation and of the archival record, a specialist chapter on mineralised organic remains and a discussion of tomb architecture, burial practice, the ceramic and metal assemblages, imports, and chronology within the wider context of the Middle Bronze Age of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Our profile of the author and their work may be found HERE For more information, or to order, please visit the publisher's website: www.astromeditions
The Phoebe A. Hearst Expedition to Naga ed-Deir, Cemeteries N 2000 and N 2500 presents the results of excavations directed by George A. Reisner and led by Arthur C. Mace. The site of Naga ed-Deir, Egypt, is unusual for its continued use over a long period of time (c. 3500 BCE–650 CE). Burials in N 2000 and N 2500 date to the First Intermediate Period/Middle Kingdom and the Coptic era. In keeping with Reisner’s earlier publications of Naga ed-Deir, this volume presents artifacts in chapter-length studies devoted to a particular object type and includes a burial-by-burial description. The excavators’ original drawings, notes, and photographs are complemented by a contemporary analysis of the objects by experts in their subfields.
Tel Yarmuth is a major archaeological site of the southern Levant, located 25 km south-west of Jerusalem. In the Early Bronze Age, it was the largest fortified city-state of this region. Long after its abandonment around 2400 BCE, it was reoccupied on the acropolis only, which remained settled more or less continuously from the Middle Bronze Age II (17th-16th cent. BCE) to the Early Byzantine Period (4th cent. CE). The site is identified with the biblical settlement of Yarmuth and the Byzantine village of Iermochos. This volume is the first monograph of the final publication of the excavations conducted between 1980 and 2009. It is devoted to the excavations on the acropolis where the entire settlement history of Yarmuth was established. It provides an account of those excavations, a detailed presentation of the stratigraphy, extensive descriptions of the pottery and the various archaeological artefacts and ecofacts, and a discussion of the archaeological and biblical contexts of the site’s history. The continuous archaeological sequence from the Late Bronze II to the end of the Iron Age I (c. 1200-950 BCE) is especially noteworthy. It illustrates the fate of a Canaanite village in the shadow of larger regional centers during the momentous centuries that witnessed the decline of the Canaanite polities, the rise of the Philistine city-states and the emergence of the kingdom of Judah.
Alexander Mazarakis Ainian directed the publication project on the old rescue excavations of the Greek Archaeological Service at Skala Oropou and Nea Palatia (northern Attica, Greece) which yielded evidence for human occupation of the period between the 10th and the 6th centuries BC (Protogeometric, Geometric, Earlv Archaic, Archaic). These excavations were conducted in the years between 1985 and 1987 by the late Aliki Dragona. The study concerns two main excavations, that of the plot of the Telephone Company (OTE) at Nea Palatia, and that of the School (OSK property) at Skala Oropou.
The Maltese Archipelago at the Dawn of History. Reassessment of the 1909 and 1959 excavations at Qlejgħa tal-Baħrija and other essays is a collection of essays focusing on the reassessment of the multifaceted evidence which emerged by excavations carried out in 1909 and 1959 in the settlement of Bahrija, a key site for the understanding of the later stages of Maltese prehistory before the beginning of the Phoenician colonial period. The two excavations, largely unpublished, produced a large quantity of ceramic, stone and metal artefacts together with skeletal remains. The reappraisal of the material will shed light on critical moments of central Mediterranean prehistory. Main topics such as the Aegean-Sicily-Malta trade network, mass migration movements from the Balkans towards the Central Mediterranean and the colonial dynamics of the Phoenicians operating in the West are addressed in the light of new data and with the support of an array of archaeometric analyses.
David Cardonais Senior Curator of Phoenician, Roman and Medieval sites with the governmental agency Heritage Malta. He is a specialist of Roman and Late Roman archaeology and in this field he is about to publish a comprehensive work on Malta entitled Roman buildings and their architecture in Malta. His research interests include landscape archaeology, archaeology of technology and architecture.
Please view or purchase the full volume from the publisher's website:ARCHAEOPRESS
By Antoni A. Ostrasz (1929-1996) with contributions by Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz
The Hippodrome of Gerasa: A Provincial Roman Circus publishes the unique draft manuscript by the late architect and restorer Antoni Ostrasz, the study of Roman circuses and the complex fieldwork for the restoration of the Jarash Hippodrome, a work in progress abruptly ended both in writing and in the field by his untimely death in October 1996. The manuscript is presented as it is in order to retain the authenticity of his work. It is, therefore, an unusual publication providing the researcher as well as restorer of ancient monuments with unparalleled insights of architectural studies for anastyloses. Compendia A and B have been added to supplement the incomplete segments of the manuscript with regard to his studies as well as archaeological data. This concerns the excavation and preparation for the restorations and the archaeological history or stratigraphic history of the site from the foundations to primary use as a circus to subsequent occupancies of the circus complex. The study of the architectural and archaeological remains at the hippodrome encapsulates the sequence of the urban history of the town from its early beginnings to Roman Gerasa and Byzantine and Islamic Jarash, including vestiges of the seventh century plague and still visible earthquake destructions, as well as Ottoman settlements.
About the Authors Antoni Adam Ostrasz M.Eng PhD (Warsaw 1958, 1967) began his overseas work as research architect with the Polish Archaeological Centre in Cairo from 1961-1966 before joining expeditions to Alexandria, Palmyra and Nea Paphos. He was commissioned by the Syrian Authorities at Palmyra to prepare the restorations of several monuments, recently destroyed. He continued his architectural studies at Fustat and later joined the ‘Jarash Archaeological Project’ where he studied and restored the Umayyad House and the Church of Bishop Marianos. In 1984, the Dept of Antiquities appointed him as permanent director for the restoration project of the Hippodrome at Jarash.
Ina Kehrberg-Ostrasz graduated in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney where she completed her postgraduate thesis on Cypriot ceramics. She began excavating in Jordan with the University of Sydney in 1975, followed by several international and long-term archaeological projects at Jarash and other Decapolis cities in Jordan. She became Hon. Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and was made Hon. Lecturer at ANU/Canberra in 2019 where she offers Masterclasses in the study of ceramics and other artefacts.
View or purchase the full volume from the publisher's website:ARCHAEOPRESS
Tell Afis is situated in the Syrian province of Idlib, 50 km SE of Aleppo. The archaeological project directed by Stefania Mazzoni took place between 1986 and 2010, and produced documented evidence of an occupation stretching from the fourth millennium BCE to the Neo-Assyrian period. Areas E2-E4, opened on the western edge of the acropolis, have yielded a continuous sequence, divided into eight phases, spanning the Late Bronze and Iron Age periods. These volumes present the final excavation report of phases V-I which cover the period between the end of the 13th and the 8th c. BCE. During these centuries the Northern Levant was marked by important events which deeply changed its political, social and economic order. The political rise and the sudden fall of the Hittite empire, the collapse of the city-state political system, the emergence of new cultural entities attributed to migrants identified with the Sea Peoples quoted by the Egyptian kings Merneptah and Ramses III and the re-organization of the territory in regional polities ruled by Luwian and Aramaean dynasties, are all factors which contributed to the formation of the cultural and political landscape of the 9th-8th c. BCE.
The sequence of Areas E2-E4 yields a picture of a site which actively participated in these changes and was able to cross this troubled period by constantly reshaping its cultural and economic structure until becoming in the 8th c. BCE a flourishing center, likely to be identified with Hazrek, the capital of the Aramaean king Zakkur.
The publication by Fabrizio Venturi is composed of two volumes: the first dedicated to text, the second to plates. The arguments in Volume I are divided into six parts with the following subjects:
Part I is dedicated to a general description of the site and its region and to the history of the site’s excavations. Also presented are the methods used in material recording and the database setting.
Part II is dedicated to the stratigraphy of phases V-I. At the end of each phase description a chapter is devoted to the planimetric analyses of the buildings and to the functional partition of their spaces.
Part III is dedicated to the typological analysis of pottery, divided into chapters corresponding to the different phases. The assemblages are analyzed both on a diachronic level and in comparison with other regional pottery horizons. This part concludes with a chapter in which the development of the Tell Afis production is synthesized together with a relative chronology proposal based on diagnostic materials.
Part IV presents a selection of the collected small finds, arranged in functional and typological categories.
Part V is dedicated to the presentation of the analyses carried out on the organic and ceramic materials. Chapter V.1 shows the results of 14C analyses which have allowed an absolute chronology proposal, discussed in comparisons with the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean documentation. Chapter V.2 presents the petrographic and geochemical analyses on a selected group of sherds with a particular emphasis on Iron Age I Aegeanizing pottery.
Part VI is divided into six chapters and it presents the excavation data framed in their historical context. Chapter VI.1 analyzes the site in 13th c. BCE and the dynamics linked to the political expansion of Hittites in the SE Syrian provinces. Chapters VI.2-3 discuss the complex issue concerning the identification of the Sea People migration throughout textual and material culture, the impact that the new Aegeanizing elements had in the Tell Afis local cultural framework and the patterns of their progressive assimilation. Chapter VI.4 is dedicated to the emergence in the site (and in its region) of the Aramaeans. Finally Chapters VI.5-6 are dedicated respectively to the Iron Age periodization of the Northern Levant and the conclusions.
Volume II is divided into the following five sections:
I-II – Introduction, architecture and stratigraphy (maps and plans)
III – The pottery (drawings)
IV – The small finds (drawings)
II-III-IV – Architecture, pottery and small finds (photos)
V – 14C and minero-petrographic/geochemical analyses (photos)
Located along the River Euphrates, in modern-day Syria, el-Qitar was a mountain fortress of the Middle Bronze Age. Excavations, fully analysed in this volume for the first time, revealed extensive fortifications, with two city gates, multiple towers, a fosse, an earthen rampart, and casemate walls, in addition to a public building lined with orthostats of the Middle Bronze Age. After a short time, the site was abandoned and, following a gap of several centuries, re-settled in the Late Bronze Age. It was then that upper and lower settlements were established within the old fortifications, possibly in the wake of Hittite campaigns in Northern Syria that destroyed nearby towns.Detailed analyses of ceramics and objects explore the possibility that el-Qitar was re-occupied by local refugees. This volume traces the changing function of the site over time, arguing that el-Qitar might have been the site known as Dur Samsi-Addu during the Middle Bronze Age, and Til-Abnu of the Late Bronze Age. The latest construction episode belongs to the modern-day Tishreen Dam.